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Callie Terrell

March 29, 2021
Callie Terrell
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Obituary for Callie Terrell

Callie Veazy Terrell, age 102, died March 29, 2021.

Live stream funeral link: https://youtu.be/HXTPPTqZrmA

Callie Veazy Terrell was born on November 26, 1918 in Desoto County (Hernando) Mississippi to Archie Veazy. Sr. and Callie Cox Freeman. She was the youngest and last survivor of ten children.

Her full name was Callie Lillie Veazy Terrell. For her middle name, she was named for the white woman whose property adjoined the family property in Mississippi. After she grew up and understood how white people treated black people (even though the neighbor wasn’t like that) she no longer wanted to use her middle name. During her last years, she worried if her children would have trouble with her estate after she passed, because early in her life she only used “Callie L. Terrell” for her name and signature, and later used “Callie V. Terrell”.

Callie was raised on a farm in DeSoto County, Mississippi. She enjoyed her early life there and often remarked about how she hated being sent to Memphis, at the age of 10, to live with her older sister, Effie Williams and her husband, to complete her education.

After leaving Hernando, Callie was educated in the Memphis public school system. She attended Florida Elementary and graduated from Booker T. Washington School under Principal Blair T. Hunt, who remembered her well when her daughter, Inez, later attended there. After high school, she returned to Desoto County briefly to teach school. She worked as a waitress and as a shampoo girl in a white beauty shop in downtown Memphis. She later attended cosmetology school – Superior Poro Beauty School under the tutelage of Madame P.J. Hampton – while her oldest daughter attended elementary school. They often walked to school together as her cosmetology school was near the elementary school. Callie received her Cosmetology license in 1945. A phenomenal woman, she practiced until she was 101 years of age and COVID quarantine forced her to retire. She was an entrepreneur, with a beauty shop in her home for many years. In the ‘60s and ‘70s she operated a very successful multi-chair hair salon, with a manicurist and a successful retail operation. She was the oldest working beautician in the state of Tennessee.

Callie came to know Christ at age 10 and was baptized at Hernando’s Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. At the time of her death, she was an active member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. She was formerly a member of Bloomfield Baptist Church, Cummings Street Baptist Church, Beulah Baptist Church and Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. Throughout all of her church memberships, she was an actively engaged member. She loved to work with children and youth. She was a Sunday school teacher; superintendent of the Children’s Division of Sunday School and taught young adults as well. She was an instructor in the Memphis Sunday School and BTU Congress Institute for many years, and a member of board of ABSCOTS (American Baptist Churches of the South). During most of her church life, she was a member of the choir. A wonderful soprano, she was also known as a soloist in her local church choir and was often an invited soloist at other churches and church events. For these solo gigs, she was usually accompanied on piano by one of her daughters.


In celebration of her 100th birthday, she was featured in several newspaper and magazine articles and interviewed by the local CBS affiliate, WREG 3, television channel. During the interview, she was asked why she still works and she replied “Well, I can’t describe it. I’m thankful I’m physically able to do some of the things I used to do,” and “Well if you don’t use it, you lose it and people want me to work on them and they pay me, so why not do it.” Callie was also recognized on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. Also in honor of her 100th birthday, Sally Beauty’s Corporate Office honored her as one of their longest-standing customers by establishing a $10,000 cosmetology scholarship in her name.

Callie married her friend and the love of her life, Charles Nathaniel Terrell in 1938. To this union three daughters were born, Inez, Brenda and Wanda. She was an actively engaged parent and supported her children as a member of the PTA. She was such a fixture in the schools, that all of the administrators, most of the teachers and lots of the students knew her.

Callie came to know Christ at age 10 and was baptized at Hernando’s Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. At the time of her death, she was an active member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. She was formerly a member of Bloomfield Baptist Church, Cummings Street Baptist Church, Beulah Baptist Church and Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. Throughout all of her church memberships, she was an actively engaged member. She loved to work with children and youth. She was a Sunday School teacher, superintendent of the Children’s Division of Sunday School and taught young adults as well. She was an instructor in the Memphis Sunday School and BTU Congress Institute for many years, and a member of board of ABSCOTS (American Baptist Churches of the South). During most of her church life, she was a member of the choir. A wonderful soprano, she was also known as a soloist in her local church choir and was often an invited soloist at other churches and church events. For these solo gigs, she was usually accompanied on piano by one of her daughters.

She was active in civic affairs and attended her neighborhood Civic Club meetings until the onset of COVID restrictions. During the election season, Callie often volunteered as a poll worker.

Family was all important to her. Her biggest smiles were during holidays when family would gather or during the summer months when “out of town” family would come and they would all gather at her house or one of her sister’s homes in Memphis, or under the huge tree at her sister Beolia’s house in Hernando. She was over joyed with her grandchildren, Jai, Aja and Erin. And, at the age of 99 she was thrilled to get her first great grandchild, Mireille soon followed by Bennett and Sibylla. Her last big trip was in 2019 to Los Angeles to meet Bennett.

Callie was preceded in death by her parents, Archie Veazy. Sr. and Callie Cox Freeman; her siblings John B., Inez, Herman, Effie (Big T), Archie Jr. (Uncle Buntz), Gladys, Elvira, Erma (Little T), and, Beolia (Aunt Tot).

Callie’s life will be remembered and her memories cherished by her daughters, Inez T.Boyd (the late James H. Boyd); Brenda Y. Terrell (Oliver Ragsdale, Jr.); Wanda T. Terrell (Fred Falker); her grandchildren Jai Boyd; Aja Tilghman (Shukree); Erin Falker Obichigha (Ebuka) and her great grandchildren Mireille Callie Tilghman, Bennett August Tilghman and Sibylla Chimobim Adaiagwe Obichigha and a host of other family members and friends.

Serenity Funeral Home, Tel. (901)379-0861.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

9

Apr

4:00 PM 4/9/2021 4:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 4/9/2021 6:00:00 PM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States

Service

Saturday

10

Apr

11:00 AM 4/10/2021 11:00:00 AM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Forest Hill - Midtown Cemetery Final Resting Place

1661 S. Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38106

1661 S. Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis 38106 TN
United States
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